People always ask how chefs come up with new dishes. Well, in the case of the Black Cod and Artichoke dish at Manresa, many “amusing” happenings led to its creation. David Kinch went on a hike looking for a condor. He never found the condor but he did find poison oak. He then had to get on a plane to go to New York for an event. And while he was bathing in Calamine lotion in his hotel bathroom, he got a call from his staff saying that a fish in one of the dishes is no longer available. A new dish was needed, and quickly. Through pictures, texts, phone calls, etc., David was able to monitor the progress of this new dish that his staff was creating 3000 miles away. Sometimes, a silver lining can be beautiful and delicious.

This dish has main three components: a smoked fish and artichoke broth, the fried ribbons of artichoke, and the grilled local cod. Everything in the broth is about the aromatics. It has a really nice smoky element that comes from the smoked fish. But ultimately, all the broth is really contributing is the artichoke flavor. Fresh thyme is added and removed quickly then the broth is seasoned with soy sauce. The artichokes are fried in a very interesting and unusual shape. Long ribbons are created then fried. The black cod is very fatty fish and takes the smoking and grilling very well.

BLACK COD & ARTICHOKE RECIPE

For the Black Cod:

3 Black cod fillets, trimmed
Sea salt

For the Charred Leek Oil:

30g Leeks, charred until black
100g Grapeseed oil

For the Pickled Baby Artichoke Petals

6ea Baby artichokes
50g Lemon vinegar
50g Sugar
25g Water
TT Salt

For the Smoked Fish Barigoule Broth:

50g Butter
5ea Garlic cloves, sliced thin
3ea Shallots, sliced thin
1ea leek, white only and sliced thin
1ea Carrot, peeled and sliced thin
4ea Artichokes, greens and choke removed sliced thin
2ea Fish bones (salted, smoked, and dried) cut into small pieces
150g Smoked salmon or trout
4L Bonito stock (shaved bonito, konbu, filtered water)
TT White balsamic vinegar
TT Shiro dashi
TT Sea salt
25g Thyme

To Finish:

Black cod portions, grilled over charcoal
Small carrots trimmed and poached in vegetable stock
Fennel, trimmed and poached in vegetable stock
Spring onions, trimmed and charred on one side
Fried artichoke chips
Viola flower petals
Society garlic flowers
Wood sorrel leaves

Directions for Black Cod:

  1. Liberally salt the flesh of the black cod and let sit to lightly cure for 25 minutes. After the fish has cured, gently wipe all the excess salt from the outside of the cod filets with a towel. Store on fish paper until ready for use.

Directions for Charred Leek Oil:

  1. Combine both the leeks and oil in a blender. Turn on and process at high speed until the mixture becomes very warm to the touch. Pass the oil through a fine strainer and cool to room temperature. Store in a squeeze bottle.

Directions for Pickled Baby Artichoke Petals

  1. Peel the green outside leaves off of the baby artichokes until you reach the tender yellow leaves. Trim off the stem. Combine the remaining ingredients and the trimmed baby artichokes in a vacuum bag. Seal on full power. Steam the bag at 212F for 25 minutes. Ice the bag down and let it marinate at least 8hrs. Remove the artichokes from the bag and carefully peel off the whole yellow leaves. Store the leaves in the cooking liquid until ready to use.

Directions for Smoked Fish Barigoule Broth:

  1. Brown the butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and sweat until beginning to turn translucent. Add in the remaining vegetables, and sweat until barely tender. Add the fish bones, and smoked fish. Turn the veg and fish bones to coat in the butter. Pour in the bonito broth and bring to a light simmer. Season lightly with salt and white balsamic. Continue at a light simmer for 1hr, skimming constantly. Pull off the heat and let rest for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine strainer. Immediately add the thyme and infuse for 15 minutes. Strain. Season with salt, shiro dashi, and white balsamic. Keep hot.